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The Duchess of Sussex in Dagenham, as told by the students

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:10 10 March 2020

The Duchess of Sussex poses with school children making the 'equality' sign following a school assembly. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire

The Duchess of Sussex poses with school children making the 'equality' sign following a school assembly. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire

Excited students have told how they met the Duchess of Sussex on a day they’ll never forget when she visited their school last week.

The Duchess of Sussex  listens to a student reciting a poem to pupils. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA WireThe Duchess of Sussex listens to a student reciting a poem to pupils. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire

In one of her last engagements as a working royal, Meghan visited the Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham ahead of International Women's Day.

While a video clip of head boy Aker Okoye — 'she really is beautiful, innit' — went viral, other students were equally awestruck by Meghan.

The duchess described her visit as 'incredibly profound', emphasising that each pupil has 'a voice' and 'the right to speak up for what is right.'

Buoyed by those words, here's what a few of them had to say about the visit.

The Duchess of Sussex  listens to a student reciting a poem. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA WireThe Duchess of Sussex listens to a student reciting a poem. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire

Olivia Collins, 18: 'This visit is certainly one I will remember, as the crucial celebration of women was recognized by a leading female figure in the British consciousness. As I am from a borough with issues surrounding gender equality, I think that Meghan Markle recognising our area and our school is incredibly powerful.'

Freddie Halton, 15: 'We knew a special visitor was coming but we didn't know who. Someone like Meghan Markle doesn't normally come to Dagenham! It was amazing. When she walked down the aisle we were right close to her.'

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Charlotte Fleisher, 15: 'It was amazing to see Meghan in the school! I couldn't believe it when she congratulated me for receiving the citizen of the week award and shook my hand. This memory will stay with me forever.'

Meghan embraces head boy Aker Okoye. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA WireMeghan embraces head boy Aker Okoye. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire

Ali Ali, 12: 'This day was the best day of my life! I never imagined that I, a regular 12-year-old, would shake hands with Meghan Markle!'

Year 7 pupils also loved the visit.

Fabio Petraru said: 'I never expected to have such an honour of meeting a royal, but there I was at Robert Clack School meeting one of the most special and important people today.'

Popina Brennan added: 'It was amazing. We were all screaming and crying in excitement. Seeing Meghan Markle inspired be to try harder and be the best me I can be.'

The duchess is presented with a school jacket. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA WireThe duchess is presented with a school jacket. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire

Ula Lapinskaite said: 'We were all waiting at our tables and then we saw Meghan Markle through a window the teachers forgot to cover! I was honestly so excited because I was getting this once in a lifetime opportunity'.

And Janelle Arthur said: 'It was fun seeing Meghan up close even if I wasn't sitting next to her. I just felt her positive energy in the room.'


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